FY 2024 Budget Highlights

[Download this report as a pdf] | [See charts] | [FY 2024 Budget Analysis]

The FY 2024 budget makes some key investments in agencies, but misses opportunities to help everyday Oklahomans. 

  • For the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2023 (FY 2024), the Oklahoma state budget is $11.8 billion. This includes the general appropriations bill and several other bills that make smaller, more targeted appropriations. 
  • When adjusted for inflation and population growth, the FY 2024 budget is 12 percent smaller than the FY 2000 budget of $13.3 billion and 3.3 percent larger than the current year’s budget (FY 2023) of $11.4 billion (excluding supplemental appropriations). In nominal dollars, the FY 2024 budget is $7 billion more than the FY 2000 budget (137 percent larger). 
  • The full FY 2024 budget was not finalized and passed into law until July 31, 2023, which is unusual since the FY began on July 1, 2023. Lawmakers finalized the budget through a special legislative session, rather than during their typical time period of the regular legislative session. 
  • In addition to the FY 2024 budget, lawmakers also passed $589 million in supplemental funding for FY 2023. Supplemental funding is often used to help agencies meet unanticipated needs and is not included in the $11.8 billion FY 2024 budget. 
  • At the beginning of FY 2023, the state had $1.7 billion in savings. This does not include unspent cash that remains in the General Revenue Fund. (Fig 3)  
  • The budget makes investments in many state agencies and allocates money for several one-time expenses. 
  • Lawmakers missed two key opportunities: 
    • Modernizing the Sales Tax Relief Credit to provide a tax cut to 576,000 low- and middle-income Oklahomans, nearly half of whom are senior citizens. 
    • Making larger, significant investments in all state agencies, almost all of which have lost buying power over the last decade due to inflation and population growth.  

Tax credits for private school tuition will cost the state significant revenue every year, but several other provisions are one-time expenditures. 

  • The most significant tax change is the creation of voucher tax credits that will subsidize private school tuition and homeschool expenses. When this current measure is fully phased in, the program will cost up to $255 million annually.   

Lawmakers made several other tax changes, including:  

Lawmakers approved several one-time expenditures, including: 

  • Creating a fund to allow the state to self-finance capital projects. The FY 2024 budget makes a $600 million investment in the fund, of which $349 million has already been approved for projects. 
  • Creating two new housing programs that would fund development, provide gap financing, and help with downpayment assistance. Lawmakers directed $215 million to these projects. 
  • Directing $180 million to the newly created Perform Fund, which will provide tax rebates to companies that meet certain requirements. 
  • Appropriating $145 million to be used for improvements at an industrial park, which is reportedly an effort to bring a new Panasonic battery plant to the state. 

The budget provides for significant increases to education funding. 

  • Spending for all education agencies makes up 48 percent of the budget, or $5.7 billion.  
  • Lawmakers increased the budget for common education by 25 percent, or $789 million, for a total of $3.97 billion in the FY 2024 budget. Of the new funding, $500 million will go to the school funding formula and $125 million will be distributed as Redbud school grants, which is a program for schools with low local tax income revenue. 
  • Most other education agencies will receive sizable budget increases in FY 2024. The budget for the Department of Career and Technology Education will increase by 16 percent to $165 million, and higher education will receive a 15 percent increase to $1 billion. 
  • These are long overdue investments in Oklahoma’s education system. However, adjusted for inflation and population growth, agencies have significantly less buying power now than they did a decade ago. 

Investments in health and social services will increase access to health and mental health care. 

  • Spending for health and social services will be $1.7 billion, or 15 percent of the budget. 
  • The largest percentage increase among these agencies is a $122 million (99 percent) increase to the University Hospitals Authority, a public-private partnership. The budget does not detail the purpose of this increase. 
  • The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority is now an appropriated agency, with an FY 2024 budget of $37 million. 
  • Most health and social services agencies will see a budget increase, including the Department of Health with a 16 percent increase for a total Health Department budget of $71 million. 
  • The Health Care Authority budget will decrease by 29 percent to $893 million for the FY 2024 budget. This may be because the agency has received enhanced pandemic-related federal funding for the last several years. Of this budget, lawmakers specified that $30 million should be directed towards provider grants for costs related to the health information exchange, $47 million should fund increased reimbursement for certain facilities, and $200 million shall be used for one-time payments to critical access hospitals. 
  • While the original budget package included a requirement that the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (DMHSAS) spend $12.5 million on State Question 781 funding, that bill did not ultimately pass as a part of the FY 2024 budget. DMHSAS will receive that $12.5 million as part of their FY 2024 appropriations, but there is no statutory requirement that it be spent in conjunction with SQ 781 requirements. 

Lawmakers continued to invest in Oklahomans with disabilities, but missed opportunities to increase funding for other human services agencies. 

  • Spending on human services agencies makes up 8 percent of the FY 2024 budget, or $909 million. 
  • The Oklahoma Human Services will see a relatively flat budget at $767 million. This includes a $10 million investment in serving individuals with developmental disabilities who are waiting for services. This continues the department’s current work to increase accessibility to these services. 
  • Some other human services agencies will see flat budgets as well, including the Office of Disability Concerns (no change) and the Office of Juvenile Affairs (0.7 percent decrease). Because of annual inflation and growth in the state’s population, a flat budget is a cut to the agency’s buying power.  

Funding for public safety is largely in line with last year’s funding. 

  • Public safety agencies will receive $980 million, or 8 percent of the FY 2024 budget. 
  • The District Courts will see a budget increase of 13 percent for a total of $87 million. This includes a $4.6 million appropriation for a new program that will provide high-quality legal representation for children impacted by the child welfare system and their parents
  • The District Attorneys Council will receive an 8 percent increase for a total budget of $76 million. In contrast, the Indigent Defense System will see a flat budget of $25 million.
  • The budget for the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs will decrease by 63 percent, but lawmakers stated that any lost revenue should be replaced by revenue from a fee change.  

Many other agencies saw increased funding.  

  • Among other agencies, some stand out with significant budget increases, including the Military Department (46 percent), the Department of Commerce (47 percent), and the Historical Society (172 percent). 
  • Service Oklahoma will be a new state agency funded at $53 million. Agencies that had previously provided those services, including the Department of Public Safety and the Tax Commission, will see some decrease because of this change. 
  • Lawmakers directed significant funding to the Water Resources Board for drought relief, spending $28 million in FY 2024 and supplementing FY 2023 funding by $17 million. 
  • Lawmakers also offered tribes who had motor vehicle tax compacts (in effect January 2023) and tobacco compacts (in effect January 2019) the option to extend or restore Tribal-State agreements by offering specific supplemental terms through the end of 2024. Because of disagreements between the legislature and the governor, these bills were not fully approved and passed into law until July 31, 2023. 

Lawmakers directed some federal funding through the state budget process this year.  

  • Lawmakers passed $241 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding through the state budget process this year. While this one-time funding is not included in the $11.8 billion state budget, it will go towards several programs that will benefit Oklahomans. 
  • The Department of Human Services will receive the largest amount of funding at $96 million for purposes like making child care more accessible and increasing access to nutritious food. 
  • Responding to climate and emergency needs was another priority as lawmakers directed significant federal funding towards the Water Resources Board ($38 million) and the Emergency Relief and Impacts Revolving Fund ($25 million). 
  • Other projects include bolstering the health care workforce, supporting small businesses, and covering increased costs for programs that were funded last year. 

This budget makes some key investments, but many choices still heavily benefit wealthy individuals and corporations over everyday Oklahomans. 

  • The FY 2024 budget makes some good and overdue investments, including a $500 million increase to the school funding formula and sizable increases to most state agency budgets. 
  • With the exception of private school voucher tax credits, the budget largely protects state revenue. This is vitally important for future years, as the state’s gross receipts fell in April and the state’s economic future is uncertain.
  • Lawmakers missed opportunities to impact everyday Oklahomans, like providing inflation relief to low- and middle-income earners by expanding the Sales Tax Relief Credit. 
  • Despite this year’s investments, most state agencies still have less buying power than they did in 2009. Moving forward, lawmakers should continue to protect state revenue, prioritize the restoration of decades of budget cuts, and provide meaningful assistance to low- and middle-income Oklahomans.

[Download this report as a pdf] | [FY 2024 Budget Analysis]





Emma Morris worked as Oklahoma Policy Institute's Health Care and Fiscal Policy Analyst from April 2021 to January 2024. She had previously worked as an OK Policy intern and as the Health Care Policy Fellow. Previous experience included working as a case manager with justice-involved individuals and volunteering as a mentor for youth in her community. Emma holds dual bachelor’s degrees in Women’s and Gender Studies and Public and Nonprofit Administration from the University of Oklahoma, and is currently working on a Master of Public Administration degree from OU-Tulsa. She is an alumna of OK Policy’s 2019 Summer Policy Institute and The Mine, a social entrepreneurship fellowship.

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